Tag Archives: painting fruit

Season of fruit and mellow coffee pots – and terrifying heads

The weather has continued wet and gloomy here in the fells, so the still life campaign has carried on relentlessly, with many pieces of fruit called upon to perform in front of a loaded brush. The apples and bananas did particularly well, remaining absolutely still and full of mellow character while I seized their portraits for posterity (before they met their dreadful fate).

oil painting of fruit in mellow colours

mellow autumn colours, fruit in a handmade bowl, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

oil painting of fruit in diagonal arrangement

fruit arranged diagonally, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

Maybe it was the result of staring at fruit for too long but suddenly the coffee pot seemed to be glowing with colours as well and it, too, had to stand patiently while I attempted to capture a likeness.

oil painting of foreshortened coffee pot

coffee pot, foreshortened, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

After treating the fruit so harshly I thought it was only fair to do the same with myself, so I attempted to scrutinise the shape of my head. This is a difficult task, especially when it hasn’t been attempted for a while. I can’t work out why but being able to draw something in pencil does not seem to make it any easier to subsequently construct using paint, although I’m sure that once I found making drawn studies was a useful part of the painting process. Maybe it will come back.

Perhaps it’s fitting that it’s Halloween because the intense stare required to paint your own head can result in quite a terrifying image.

oil painting, staring portrait, 9"x12"

an intense stare, oil on canvas, 9″x12″

Then there are the self-portraits that really look very convincingly like someone, even though it isn’t you.

oil painting, self-portrait, 9"x12"

self-portrait with odd expression, oil on canvas, 9″x12″

I had hoped to write a bit about the George Rowlett catalogues I ordered recently but, as they have not arrived, it will have to wait for another post. So, this is a bit of a shorter one than usual (which is supposed to be a good thing because the internet, apparently, devours your attention span, leaving you capable of reading only around 250 words or so before lapsing into a coma or excitedly performing a jig).

Noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger

Autumn, with darker evenings and cold winds, has led to a week of still life painting with apples and jugs taking on starring roles. It has been interesting seeing the paintings develop, each in their different way.

This one turned into an appreciation of the yellowness of fruit.

still life oil painting of yellow fruit

the yellowness of fruit, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

This one, on the other hand, turned into a competition between the subtle colours of autumn apples and the dark glossiness of my red enamel coffee pot. Probably should have knocked it back a bit.

still life oil on canvas painting, apples and jug

apples versus jug, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

Two coffee makers in coversation – the old enamel faithful and the newer steel, eccentric yet efficient little pot. The red pot is best at making Turkish coffee, boiled up inside it and drunk from a tiny cup with lots of sugar. The steel pot is perfect for making enough strong coffee to make two morning cups full, diluted with hot water and mellowed with a splash of milk.

oil still life on canvas, coffee pots

coffee pots conversing, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

In the meantime the large painting was ‘maturing’ on the wall and every time I looked at it – in spite of trying not to – the foreground was leaping out at me and looking not quite right. So, in the end, I gave in and sneaked it down to make the alterations that it seemed to want.

work in progress, large oil on canvas, Crosdale evening

Crosdale evening, work in progress, stage 2, oil on canvas, 23.4″ x 33.1″

Now, it just needs a couple of the highlights putting back in and it will be done, or will it … ?